Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker Winning the QB Battle

Chad MintonCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 01: Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints during their pre season game at Louisiana Superdome on September 1, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo by Sean Gardner/ Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The problem that the Tennessee Titans are currently facing is a problem that several NFL teams wish they had right now.

Who do you take? The proven veteran who got you to the cusp of an unlikely playoff berth, or the dynamic youngster that could take the Titans to even higher heights if he is indeed ready.

If Mike Munchak stays true to his word that he will pick the starting quarterback after the second preseason game, then Jake Locker has the starting job at his finger tips.

Locker is expected to be the starter in the Titans' second preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is a big step in a positive direction for Locker.

This likely indicates that Munchak is leaning towards Locker at this point and basically wants to get a good feel for how Locker handles heading into a game as the planned starter.

Locker continues to show his poise inside the huddle, and that carried over from last season when he played in limited action for Matt Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck's veteran leadership is the only thing that puts him ahead of Locker at this point, but Locker keeps reminding everyone that he has plenty of leadership qualities of his own.

This would be a different scenario if we didn't have last season's outings by Locker to go off of. We know that Locker can play in big time situations as he showed that last season against teams like the Falcons and the Saints.

How Locker performs in these preseason games just further solidifies his readiness as the starter going forward.

Locker overall had a very solid performance against the Seahawks to open the preseason, while Hasselbeck showed his limitations as an aging quarterback.

Munchak will likely give Locker at least three series to show that he's the right choice when the Patriots come to town to open the regular season.

Both quarterbacks are expected to see more action than they did against the Seahawks, with Locker seeing more action with the first-team offense.

It's been said plenty of times and it still bears repeating. Munchak knows what he has with Hasselbeck, but the potential with Locker as the starter is so much higher for the Titans.

The biggest asset that Locker brings to the offense is his ability to extend plays and throw out of the pocket. With an offensive line that is very much in question, it is likely that the Titans offense will face plenty of broken plays this season.

You need a quarterback that can move outside of the pocket and throw the ball effectively even when the play breaks down.

Obviously Locker needs a superb outing against the Buccaneers for Munchak to feel comfortable with throwing in his young quarterback against such a good team.

This Buccaneers starting defense shut down Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore in their preseason debut.

It's easy to get married to the proven quarterback that Hasselbeck is, but you have to be careful not to be blinded by your comfort zone if you're Munchak.

Locker can take this offense so much further assuming he's mentally ready to take on that role of being an NFL starting quarterback.

All indications have shown that Locker is indeed ready, and he just needs to prove that one more time against the Buccaneers to put this position battle to rest.